Centromyrmex secutor

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Centromyrmex secutor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Centromyrmex
Species: C. secutor
Binomial name
Centromyrmex secutor
Bolton & Fisher, 2008

Centromyrmex secutor casent0178748 profile 1.jpg

Centromyrmex secutor casent0178748 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Centromyrmex secutor.

Identification

A member of the bequaerti species group. This species is closely related to Centromyrmex bequaerti and shows the same polymorphic variations in the worker, but the two species differ consistently in the characters listed above in all worker sizes. As in bequaerti the petiole tergite of secutor in profile is distinctly higher than long in large workers, and very obviously longer than high in smaller workers (Bolton & Fisher, 2008c).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Gabon (type locality), Ivory Coast, Liberia.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

All of the species in the genus appear to be termitophagous and all are superbly adapted to this specialised predatory life style. Observations of some species have found them to be rather helpless when placed in an exposed, open situation. Weber described what happened when he found a worker “just beneath the soil surface under a thin cover of dead leaves”. The ant was “completely helpless when exposed to the daylight and writhed about when placed on the ground or in my palm. It made no attempt to run away, curling and uncurling without stinging, though it had a long, stout sting”. In other words, it seemed unable to walk when removed from its specialised habitat and placed on a surface where it could not use its specialised legs. If not discovered within a termite nest, individuals are occasionally found in the top soil or the root-mat below the leaf litter layer, where their short, powerful, spiny legs facilitate their movement. (Weber 1949, Bolton and Fisher 2008).

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Worker

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • secutor. Centromyrmex secutor Bolton & Fisher, 2008c: 13, figs. 5, 6 (w.) GABON.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Holotype. TL 6.9, HL 1.38, HW 1.26, CI 91, ML 0.46, MI 33, SL 0.80, SI 63, PW 0.91, WL 2.00.

With characters of the genus and the bequaerti group; answering the description of Centromyrmex bequaerti in all except the following characters:

Bulla of metapleural gland is hypertrophied and extends anterodorsally to the base of the propodeal spiracle, which it just fails to touch (see comments under paratypes).

Protibia ventrally lacks a stout spiniform seta that is similar to those on the mesotibia; at most there is a simple slender seta located close to the apex on its outer surface, anterior to and opposite the large spur.

Spiniform setae are absent from the metatibia.

Pubescence is present on declivity of propodeum, especially near its base; the pubescence is more obvious in smaller than in larger workers.

Dorsum of the mandible with a flattened area just distal of the basal groove and the flattened area has a distinctly crowded patch of minute punctures.

Paratypes. TL 4.5-7.3, HL 0.86-1.45, HW 0.69-1.38, CI 80-95, ML 0.28-0.50, MI 30-34, SL 0.46-0.80, SI 58-67, PW 0.54-0.98, WL 1.36-2.10 (10 measured).

The mandible has 5 teeth in larger workers (including the holotype) but only 4 in the smallest workers. It is not certain that the largest worker morph has been found, so larger workers may have more than 5 teeth. In most paratypes the bulla of the metapleural gland reaches the base of the propodeal spiracle.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker. Gabon: La Makandé, Forêt des Abeilles, i.–ii.1999 (S. Lewis) (The Natural History Museum).

Paratypes. 15 workers with same data as holotype (BMNH, California Academy of Sciences, Museum of Comparative Zoology).

References